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American Tyler Hamilton banned for eight years

The 2004 Olympic time-trial champion Tyler Hamilton has been given an eight-year ban by the US Anti-Doping Agency after he admitted to taking a banned substance. The American cyclist had already announced his retirement.

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AFP - One-time Olympic gold medallist Tyler Hamilton has accepted an eight-year doping ban, marking the end of a career tarnished by drugs.

The US Anti-Doping Agency meted out the penalty on Tuesday, two months after Hamilton admitted taking a product to battle depression that contained a steroid.

"I took a banned substance so I need to take whatever penalty they will give me and move forward," Hamilton said in April, when he announced his retirement from the sport.

Hamilton, 38, tested positive for testosterone or its precursors in an out of competition test on February 9, USADA said in a statement.

"Mr. Hamilton has agreed to the lab findings and has acknowledged that this constitues his second offense," USADA said.

The 2004 Olympic time-trial champion, who formerly raced with Lance Armstrong's US Postal team, became the first athlete to be found guilty of doping by blood transfusion later that year.

The American was subsequently suspended for two years. Even if he changed his mind about retiring, another return after this ban seems virtually impossible.

"In the sport of cycling, eight years ineligibility for a 38-year-old athlete is effectively a lifetime ban, and an assurance that he is penalized for what would have been the remainder of his competitive cycling career," USADA chief executive Travis Tygart said.
 

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